Tonight, the Eurozone finance ministers are due to approve the bailout package for Greece. The MSM widely expects them to do so. As the earlier Slogpost today argued clearly, if they do, it will be because they can only keep their third-rate currency zone and anti-democratic Union going by dealing with crooked people as addicted to the gravy train as they are. Those supposedly representing their citizens in the Athens Government have, in turn, acquiesced in every increasingly bonkers Troika demand for austerity and repayment, because not to do so would take away their seedy access to the People’s money. My God, I’m sounding like a 1970s agitprot Trot. That’s how unpleasant this crew are.
I think a minority of the people in Brussels and Frankfurt know exactly what they’ve unleashed by letting Athens apply CACs to last week’s debt swap. One or two in Greece do, but they couldn’t care a fig anyway. Most of the Troughing Circus in Europe’s capitals have no idea what’s coming from out of Pandora’s derivatives box at all. This is because they are either ignorant or stupid, and in some cases both. But even in the near term, if any in their ranks are smiling at the thought of having nipped the regional crisis in the bud, they should take a look at what’s been happening down here on Earth since they let Venizelos and his mob go ahead to coerce investors.
With variations taken into account, you can buy four Greek euro bonds at the moment for the price of one. That there is a market at all has nothing to do with Greek recovery hopes, and everything to do with an innate madness in modern finance: for as a form of barter, everything now has to have a value. In banks and fund management rooms throughout the Globe, high-IQ idiots are already looking at new ways to variegate, slice and repackage junk and proffer it as a thing of value…..when in reality its value is nil. The exact analogy would be going through Checkpoint Charlie in the 1960s, and being told by the DDR’s officials to exchange one Ostmark for one Bundesmark. You take the Ostmarks back as souvenirs, because for any real transaction, they are valueless. You sell them to somebody, and gradually they acquire a ‘notional’ value as an antique. Greek bondholders were forced to take this worthless toilet tissue. Now it too will re-enter the system, and skew still more concepts of valuation. And some of it will be bought with cheap money sprayed around by the ECB. You couldn’t invent a system as mad as this – it has just somehow evolved: the only thing left for those in charge to try and do is rationalise it.
The Greek debt mountain has been moved from the open market’s holders – rich professionals and major funds – to the institutional sector. Indirectly, that means you and me. Because without our tax monies, there wouldn’t be any central banks or commissions or QEs to mop it up. So the liability has gone from the rich folks to the thrifty folks and the struggling young folks. After the experience of being shafted by Mario Draghi (and the certainty of Greek economic collapse under the weight of The Troika Inquisition) no professional investor will go within two continents of Hellenic sovereign bonds for at least a decade. Moody’s has already called a clear default, and we must expect Fitch and S&P now to do the same. That will unleash yet more liabilities and derivatives. But let’s move on to the next disaster.
Because you can’t seal out a contagion that’s already well under way elsewhere, Portugal has yet to emerge from Casualty. Portuguese 10 year bond yields at 13-14% may indeed be down from a record 18.29% at the start of the year, but that’s still higher than the 2011 year average of just over 10% – and Draghi dived in at the end of February to buy short-dated Portuguese securities. The ECB denies this, but it’s perfectly true.
The long term trend in Portuguese bond yields is, for any analyst beyond a meat-head, UP. Effectively, barely a single debt bond there of over 12 months duration has been sold in the open market of late. Portugal’s problem is the same as that still facing the Greeks: rising debt-servicing costs, and falling economic/tax returns with which to control it.
“No way is Greece a one-off,” a regular Slog source based in Madrid tells me, “Not one credit or currency trader of my acquaintance believes that sh*t.”
“Our baseline expectation remains that Portugal will be able to access markets late next year,” Abebe Aemro Selassie of the IMF told Bloomberg at the weekend. You just want to take these robots and give them a shake, don’t you? The Lisbon Government is flat broke, the banks need recapitalising, and previous debt issued to finance infrastructure and communication projects in the country make the real Government sector more exposed to debt than any other West-EU member State. But on and on goes the Stepford denial: Vitor Constancio, ECB vice president and former Bank of Portugal governor, said last week that Portuguese austerity measures were on track and Greece’s debt swap would not be repeated. Within 24 hours, Wolfgang Schauble was at the same crap: “Greece was a completely unique case,” he lied while using a tautology.
Later – when all the dust has finally settled from this fisco-economic Krakatoa – people like Lagarde and Schauble and Draghi will shrug and say “Our mission was to create confidence and save Europe”. Bollocks. Their mission is to protect and secure the survival of a system whereby 27 crooked elites get rich – just so long as they do as they’re told by the big boy elites in Brussels, Berlin and Paris. The crooked elites can only keep their potty schemes going by borrowing from bankers, and once the bankers’ even more insane schemes go wrong, they will work together to save each other. It’s not a conspiracy, it’s anthropology: the Alpha tribe will keep what they see as the Barabarian tribes from the gate by any and all means available, be those legal or illegal.
Five years from now – at the most – there will not be an EU as we know it today. The forces that will destroy both it and the shibboleths of globalist monopolism have, at last, escaped. Geithner must know this. Will the plans he and others tried to bring to fruition now be abandoned? It isn’t going to be easy if, after tonight, 130 bn euros of citizen taxes are handed over to try and resuscitate a corpse, purely because it is an obedient corpse.